The Latvian presidency of the Council is ready to resume informal trilogue meetings with the European Parliament with a view to reaching a deal on a draft directive on network and information security (NIS). This reflects the priority given to this issue by heads of state and government at their 12 February informal meeting. The mandate was agreed by the Permanent Representatives Committee on 11 March 2015. The trilogue will be the first one on this proposal under the current presidency and the third one in total. The meeting is scheduled to take place in late April as requested by the European Parliament.
The objective of the network and information security proposal is to ensure a secure and trustworthy digital environment throughout the EU.
The proposed rules being negotiated with the European Parliament would require designated operators that provide essential services (in areas such as energy, transport, banking and healthcare) and key Internet enablers (such as e-commerce platforms and search engines) to take measures to manage risks to their networks and notify their incidents to authorities. All member states would be required to adopt network and information security strategies and set up teams to respond to incidents. Cooperation networks would be created at EU level.
Citizens and consumers will have more trust in the technologies, services and systems they rely on day-to-day. This increased confidence will mean a more inclusive cyberspace, and a digital economy that grows even faster, supporting economic recovery. Governments and businesses will be able to rely more on digital networks and infrastructure to provide their essential services at home and across borders. More secure e-commerce platforms could bring more customers online and create new opportunities. Providers of ICT security products and services would also benefit, as demand for their products and services is bound to increase, leading to innovative products and economies of scale. The EU economy will benefit as sectors that rely heavily on NIS will be better supported to offer a more reliable service.
The presidency negotiates the terms of the directive with the European Parliament on behalf of the Council. In order to be adopted, the legal act must be approved by both institutions. The Parliament adopted its position (first-reading amendments) in March 2014.